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Trump Adviser Sees ‘Tug of War’ With Conservatives on Paying for Infrastructure Plan

Richard LeFrak, a real estate developer whom President Trump has asked to advise him on infrastructure projects, told CNBC Jan. 23 that he thinks there will be a "tug of war" between Trump and conservatives in his Republican Party over how to pay for a major infrastructure plan.

LeFrak also said that while Trump would like to get the investment package's value up to $1 trillion, a figure of $550 billion is being discussed for the infrastructure package.

"He [Trump] has to come up with a financing plan," LeFrak told CNBC. "And I think there's going to be a little bit of a tug of war between the conservatives in the Republican Party who are concerned about deficits, and the president who is concerned about jobs. And I think he will prevail ultimately, because he wants to put people to work."

Asked how large an infrastructure proposal the Trump team is considering, whether it is a T for trillion or B for billions, LeFrak said: "Well, I think he'd like it to start with a 'T' but I think the number I've heard tossed around is about $550 billion."

Trump has reportedly chosen LeFrak and another developer, Steven Roth, to lead a council to advise the president on projects for an infrastructure package and related issues.

When asked about how best to spur private investors to help pay for projects, and how to decide on the balance between immediate repairs versus major long-term projects, LeFrak said those were among the issues the outside advisers would help sort out.

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